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Six Things That Stood Out

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Six Things That Stood Out for the Titans in Sunday's 35-10 Loss to the Eagles


PHILADELPHIA – The Titans lost 35-10 to the Eagles on Sunday at Lincoln Financial Field.

Here's a look at six things that stood out from the contest:

Tough Treylon Burks

Titans rookie Treylon Burks clearly showed up Sunday ready to rumble. The rugged receiver proved that on his 25-yard touchdown in the first quarter, which tied the game at 7-7. Burks took a big hit in the end zone as he caught the ball – Eagles defender Marcus Epps was flagged for unnecessary roughness on the play – but he managed to hold on to it. Unfortunately, Burks never returned after that play. After receiving medical attention on the field, Burks eventually went to the locker room and was evaluated for a concussion. Burks did not return to the contest. "I think he's doing okay from what I've seen," Titans coach Mike Vrabel said of Burks. "We expect that from Treylon because I know what he's capable of. It's unfortunate that he couldn't finish the game." Titans quarterback Ryan Tannehill said he appreciates Burks and his toughness. "Obviously he took a big hit there and held onto the ball – it says a lot about him," Tannehill said. "The first thing when I saw him in the locker room at halftime, he said 'I wasn't going to let that ball go'. So, it just tells you a lot about the kind of guy he is and the competitor he is."

Absent Running Game

Titans running back Derrick Henry beat himself up after Sunday's game, but a lot was working against him on Sunday. The Titans fell behind, and as a result he only got 11 carries. Also, on many of those handoffs, there was hardly much room to run. With all that said, there's at least some reason to be concerned considering the running game has now had issues over a four-game stretch. In Weeks 10-12, Henry managed just 2.8 yards per carry. On Sunday, Henry's average was just 2.7 yards. "Like I always tell you I am my worst critic," Henry said after the game. "I worry about myself, everything, anything possible. I have to be a better leader. Small things, details and making plays. I pride myself on being a playmaker for this team and I feel like I haven't really done that these last two weeks. It's been tough adversity, but you have to stay positive through it and continue to work and focus on improving. Eventually everything will happen for it, but right now it's tough to get two losses and haven't had success."

Pass Protection Issues

Tannehill showed some toughness himself, considering he was roughed up on Sunday. The good news is Tannehill showed greater mobility, as he ran for 34 yards on three carries. The bad news is Tannehill was sacked six times by the Eagles, and on some plays the pocket collapsed in a hurry. "You never want your quarterback to get hit," guard Aaron Brewer said. "We have to be better." Titans center Ben Jones agreed. "Ryan is a tough guy," Jones said. "We have to be better, but we have to be better in all phases. We have to be better running the ball. We have to be in third-and-short. On third-and-long it is hard sledding for everybody. So, we have to be ahead of the chains and when you do that you are able to operate and move the ball."

A.J. Brown vs Titans

A.J. Brown made the rounds in pre-game, hugging former teammates, coaches and staff members during pre-game warmups. The former Titans receiver, traded to the Eagles during the NFL Draft, admitted after the game this matchup was special. "This one meant a lot to me," Brown said. "Early on, I had mixed emotions about the trade and everything, and I'd be lying to you to say I didn't circle this game." Brown had a good day, catching eight of his 10 targets for 119 yards and two touchdowns. Brown's second TD catch was an impressive one, as he caught the ball off defender Tre Avery's shoulder. His first TD? Well, that one generated some buzz, considering Brown ran right through Titans cornerback Kristian Fulton, who was flagged for illegal contact. "I'm entitled to my space," said Fulton. Vrabel seemed to agree with Fulton's assessment, but he said he needs to watch the film. "I just know that I hear what they tell me sometimes about, 'Yeah, the [defensive back] has right to that space.' Did he take a charge? I don't know. Again, is he coming in from the side or do we have that space and then we are entitled to the space. I couldn't tell and didn't see enough from the replay."

Few Positives

Let's face it: There weren't a lot of positives coming out of this one. The Titans weren't very good on either side of the football, and they were also flagged seven times for 82 yards. Still, I managed to dig out a few highlights. One, it was good to see tight end Chig Okonkwo more involved – he was targeted five times, and he caught four passes for 68 yards, including a 41-yarder. Fellow tight end Austin Hooper continues to come up with some timely catches, and he did so again Sunday. Punter Ryan Stonehouse averaged 57.3 yards seven punts (way too many), and I thought outside linebacker Bud Dupree showed up with some nice pressures – he was credited with a sack and a forced fumble – but he did have a sack wiped off with a roughness penalty. I liked Vrabel's aggressiveness on the early 4th and 7 call, too, which resulted in a first down. But on this day, there just wasn't much to feel good about.

At a Crossroads

Vrabel told the players in the locker room after the game he feels the team is at a crossroads. After starting the season 0-2, the Titans won five games in a row, and seven of eight. Now, the team has lost back-to-back games. With a 7-5 record, and five games left, it's clearly crunch time. After the contest, some players were clearly frustrated by the recent struggles. Tannehill made it clear he thinks the Titans will find their footing. "We're going to find out what we're about," Tannehill said. "I think we're a resilient group, we're tough, and we've bounced back from a lot before. I believe we'll bounce back from this. … At the end of the day, this one is done. It stings, it hurts. We are all disappointed, we are all frustrated, mad, angry, every emotion you can name. But we have to be able to get over it and go win the next one."

The Tennessee Titans take on the Philadelphia Eagles in Week 13 at Lincoln Financial Field.

The Tennessee Titans prepare to take on the Philadelphia Eagles in Week 13 at Lincoln Financial Field.

The Tennessee Titans travel to Philadelphia for their Week 13 game at Lincoln Financial Field. (Tennessee Titans)

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